The commandant of Operation Safe Corridor (OPSC) Camp in Mallam Sidi, Gombe State, Col. Beyidi Martins, has said that 150 deradicalised ex-Boko Haram members cannot be discharged now because of the resurgent attacks in the Northeast.
Col. Martins said that 260 former insurgents had been treated comprising the pilot set of six associated and long detained persons.
Another batch of 95 graduated in February 2018 and handed over to their state governments – Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno and Yobe – who have been reintegrated and resettled.
He said that the last set of 150 graduated on November 24, 2018 but, were still in the camp because of the recent attacks in the Northeast zone.
Martins promised that they would be released to their states which have expressed willingness to accept and re-integrate them as the situation improves.
OPSC is a joint multi-national humanitarian operation in line with international humanitarian and human rights laws and the Nigerian constitution, conceived as a soft strategy to break the ranks and fighting will of Boko Haram insurgents.
A high-powered OPSC Committee at the national level has the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin as chairman with governors Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, chief of army staff, chief of air staff, inspector-general of police, a director from Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), director-general of Department of State Services (DSS), chief of defence intelligence and the director-general, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), as members.
Col. Martins lauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision, Gen. Olonisakin’s doggedness and the phenomenal leadership of Maj-Gen. B.M. Shafa, the programme’s pioneer coordinator.
He said that those that had been released were under close watch, adding that “necessary monitoring, tracking and tracing are ongoing involving over 375 staff drafted into OPSC from 13 major federal government’s agencies including the Office of the NSA, Nigeria Prisons Service, National Identity Management Commission, Armed Forces of Nigeria, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Immigration Service and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.”
Others are the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), National Orientation Agency (NOA), National Directorate of Employment (NDE), and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).